Scooters are too often bought or rented as a fun diversion. And they are frequently seen as harmless toys by riders and motorists alike. In fact, they are as dangerous as motorcycles. And statistics show that riders are 18 times more likely to be killed in a Massachusetts motorcycle accident than as a motorist in a passenger car.
"Motor scooters when ridden in the confines of the law are very safe, but people need to be aware of the conditions around them," John Paul, a manager of traffic safety for AAA, told the Herald. "People need to drive defensively - which is probably an understatement. You have to be as aware as possible. You have to be as aware as you can be of everything around you, just like you do in any vehicle."
On Friday, a 50-year-old Brigham and Women's Hospital emergency room doctor and father of three was struck and killed while riding a Zeco scooter on Beacon Street. The accident remains under investigation and no charges have been filed.
While the little bikes can be handy for zipping through traffic, they can also be deadly in the event of an accident. Still, their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years.
Scooter riders should ride defensively, watch for opening car doors, parked cars and driver's blind spots. Motorists should remain cautious around the scooters and treat them as you would a pedestrian because they are just as vulnerable.